Jakarta – The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) has asked people to respect the verdict in Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama's blasphemy case.
"The MUI appreciates and respects the verdict," MUI deputy head Zainut Tauhid Saadi said Tuesday, as quoted by Antara news agency, referring to the North Jakarta District Court's decision to sentence Ahok to two years' imprisonment after being found guilty in the case.
He said the verdict reflected the judges' appreciation toward the council's opinion on the case. He added that the verdict also showed the validity of the MUI's opinion, which served as a reference in deciding the legal steps in Ahok's case.
The MUI delivered its opinion that the governor had insulted Islam in his speech in the Thousand Islands in September last year, in which he told residents to not be "deceived" by people using Quranic verses to influence decisions. The judges quoted considerations from MUI ulemas in the verdict.
Zainut further said the council had expressed its gratitude to leaders of Islamic organizations, ulemas and other Islamic figures that helped guide the legal process in relation to Ahok's case. He added that the MUI praised Islamic figures who prioritized the spirit of brotherhood and unity in guiding the process.
Rallies were conducted in front of the building where the case hearings were being held since the beginning of Ahok's trial in December, coordinated by a group of conservative and hard-line Muslims grouped under the Indonesian Ulema Council's Fatwa National Movement to Safeguard the MUI's Fatwa (GNPF-MUI). (rdi)